2017 Mt Hoffmann

From Mt Hoffmann’s 10,856’ summit, at practically the geographic center of Yosemite, one can view Yosemite’s granitic monoliths in all directions, including the iconic Cathedral Peak, Cloud’s Rest, and Half Dome. Its close proximity to Tioga Road also makes it an ideal day hike destination. From the trailhead, it is an easy 1 ½ miles to May Lake and a similar distance between May Lake and the summit, although you need to gain 1500’ of elevation along this second segment.

From May Lake, I left the use trail shortly after crossing its southern outlet, unaware that I could have stayed on the trail most of the way to the summit. The pleasant cross country stroll started up gentle subalpine slopes that became steeper just before cresting the hill that had been blocking my view of Mt Hoffmann. I joined up with a well-worn trail that became rockier and more elusive so I abandoned it and headed directly towards the summit, up a 20%-30% incline of scree. At about 500’ from the summit, the terrain turns rocky again so a fun class 2 scramble is required to the summit.

I was fortunate to be alone at this popular summit as a few hikers had just descended and the small foursome I had passed below was still on their way up. Despite some haze from the fires that had been burning the past few weeks, the view out to the borders of Yosemite were spectacular.

Mt Hoffmann over May Lake

May Lake below

Meadow below Mt Hoffmann

Hoffmann's Thumb

Hoffmann's Thumb, Half Dome in the background

Summit ahead, with antenna (I'm on my way down - just missed the crowd)

View from summit

Panorama from summit